I had the pleasure of visiting one of my favorite countries in June! Spain is absolutely stunning, and this year I had the opportunity to visit some new wineries, and one of my absolute favorite winemakers from Peñafiel. Bodegas Peñafalcón is an award-winning winery producing outstanding red wines with elegance and complexity.
I met Casimiro Marcos and his wife María José Arranz five years ago on a trip with Camara Valladolid, exploring the areas best wineries and food. I instantly fell in love with the wines from Peñafalcón and knew how special they were. They do not use pesticides and use farming methods that their great grandparents once did. The wines are expressive and unlike anything I have tasted in the region. The winery’s own vineyards are well positioned on slopes with stony limestone terroir. The maturation on the wines is extraordinary because they always taste so young and fresh, but have age and complexity that is unmatched, in my opinion.
When visiting the tasting room, you are greeted with a historical experience which takes over the walls. You’ll see old horse shoes, old grape presses, tools they used to till up the vineyards way back when, and so much more. The history is amazing, and it’s so beautiful to see how well preserved and taken care of the artifacts from the family are. You really get a sense of place, and feel a part of the history that goes into the wines from Peñafalcón.
I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with Casimiros and Maria while visiting and tasted through the wines over a traditional and delicious Spanish lunch. While we were catching up from the past five years, we enjoyed the Peñafalcón 30 Meses en Barrica 2013. This wine is handpicked in the vineyard and winery before fermentation, and then aged 30 months in French and American oak. Ripe tannins, with cherry and blackberry aromas, bold flavors, and a lingering finish. Overall it’s a fantastic wine with age-ability and elegance. I especially enjoyed this wine with local freshly baked breads and chorizo!
For lunch, we enjoyed a number of meats which beautifully pair with all their wines. These wines are mature and food friendly, especially with grilled meats and vegetables, grilled white fish, and even heavier pastas. These wines are powerful but maintain an elegance that maturity that you will not taste anywhere else. Casimiros and Maria do things very differently, and their wines are unique and timeless.
After the 2013, we tasted through Peñafalcón Siglo XI Gran Reserva 60 Meses 2006, Peñafalcón VS 14 años 2003, and Peñafalcón VS 36 Meses en Barrica 2004. These wines taste matured but have an exciting freshness, that never goes out of style. Because of Peñafalcón’s maturation process, the wines taste fresh and exciting even while having quite a bit of age on them! Casi and his wife Maria are wonderful hosts, and offer winery tours where you learn a great deal of history and taste incredible wines. The wines from Peñafalcón are high quality as well as higher end, starting at around €65+. These wines are not available in the USA yet, however there is a demand to have them here, and I am hoping to see them imported to the USA soon. Regardless when you visit the winery they are available for purchase, and can be consumed now, or aged longer in your cellar.
When I met Casimiros and Maria five years ago, it was at a large wine tasting with many, many wines. When I tasted the wines, I instantly knew they were special! Still to this day I remembered the wines so well, which is why, when I had the opportunity to visit Valladolid again, I knew I had to see them and visit. Peñafiel is a beautiful wine destination, and close to many other wine regions including Cigales, Rueda, and many more. The food, wines, and hospitality is quaint and exciting, full of culture, history, and tradition. If you’re into winery visits and want to try some fantastic wines, Peñafalcón is perfect for the wine tourist!